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Thomas Judge
Thomas Judge, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 32980
Experience:  Over 20 years experience
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A letter headed by the Legal Aid Board regarding Legal Aid

Customer Question

A letter headed by the Legal Aid Board regarding Legal Aid Charge on property, shows land title number crossed out and new - similar - number hand-written: but has no initial by letter writer (as I wuld do on a commercial document) or otherwise identifier (stamp). The new number is ***** digit longer than the crossed-out one.
Is the Legal Aid claim 'legal'?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
Hi I will try and help you? Have the legal aid agency got a legitimate charge on your property?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I believe yes.
But the hand written amended letter could discount that?
My ex-wife, now decease, had legal aid during the (amicable) divorce proceedings. I do not have confidence in the solicitors handling the estate (in favour of my 3 siblings who are beneficiaries; so I have been doing some checking by myself [I also have a Legal Charge on the property]
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I received my copy of the Legal Aid Board letter from the Land Registry when I asked, and paid for, for details of the Charge.
I expected to see original value of the Charge and Conditions, but the letter does not convey that information.
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
I see. The fact that this letter has been changed by hand would not negate the charge. The charge should have been registered with the land registry in the normal way.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
Should the Legal Aid charge on the property, as registered with the Land Registry, have shown full details of the Charge, or is it just sufficient to submit a letter '..hereby certify that a statutory charge...has arisen!?
And / or, is the Legal Aid Board the only place I can obtain full details of the charge?
I have a feeling, in the absence of full details from the Land Registry, that they do not know the full details.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also :-)
Within my ex-wife's documents, I did not find any annual statements (as in 'Bank Statement') from the Legal Aid Board regarding the annual status of the Charge. Should there have been?
I did find on a Northern Ireland web site that it was the duty of the (ex-wife) solicitors to do this. Does that also apply in England?
And, if yes, how should that have been achieved on the death of her solicitor?
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
The Legal Aid Agency will have the information as to the money owed by way of the charge. The LAA should have sent out an annual statement setting out the state of the debt - but if there is a failure this will not negate the actual charge. Happy to discuss. Please rate positive
Thomas Judge and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Understand.
LAA has a somewhat limited Duty of Care!
Thank you for your help.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As a follow on: Can a Legal Aid Charge on a property be paid off by the Beneficiaries or a Third Party before the property is sold - because the Charge continues to gather interest by the day. And it looks like it will be another month or two before the solicitors can complete probate and close out the sale of the property.
Thank you
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
Yes the charge can be paid off by anyone.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
my pleasure

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